Around 60% of couples live together before they get married nowadays, and those that don’t may well have had their own flat or house before moving into the marital home – either way, each partner is going to be fairly well-equipped on the domestic front. Seeing as wedding gifts were traditionally meant to help couples kit out their home, what can you ask for instead?
The Best Alternative Wedding Gift Ideas
Some couples ask for money towards the honeymoon or a contribution towards a house deposit, but not everybody will feel comfortable doing this. We asked wedding planner Liz Reed of Elizabeth Jane Events for her advice.
She’s seen a lot of couples plan their big days and has been involved with a lot of gift lists, so if anybody knows about wedding gift ideas, it’s her! Here are some of the best wedding gifts to offer to the happy couple.
A Special Experience
“Think about asking for a special experience you’ll remember. You could ask for a trip in a hot air balloon for the two of you, or maybe a voucher to dine in an exclusive restaurant so you can treat yourselves,” says Liz.
You and your new husband might be trying to save a bit of money after the expense of the wedding, so a delicious meal out would be something to enjoy in a few months’ time.
The Great Outdoors
“Whilst you may not need anything for the inside of your home, what about the exterior?” suggests Liz.
“How about contributions towards getting the garden professionally landscaped or a garden water feature?” Your guests will love feeling like they’ve contributed to what can be an expensive part of renovating a house.
“How about a cookery experience for the two of you?” suggests Liz. “Brush up on your culinary skills so you can create a dinner party together.”
Cooking together is an activity that can really bring couples closer – plus, you can both discover what your specialties are and treat each other!
“Personalisation is often a way ahead for the couple who really honestly have everything,” says Liz.
“How about a piece of personalised artwork, a watercolour of the exterior of your home, or your dog?”
Liz suggests: “If you’ve decided that you really do have quite enough belongings but still want to do something meaningful, then why not ask all your guests to donate to a charity of your choice that has special meaning for the pair of you?
“Your home won’t end up filled with unwanted clutter and you’ll get a warm feeling from knowing that you have helped those who really need it.” Why not set up a page on Just Giving for a charity or charities of your choice?
A Little Luxury
“Why not ask for something that will grow old with the pair of you, like vintage wine,” says Liz.
“Of course, you could always drink it or you could set it aside to mark special occasions. Other ideas are a selection of luxury cigars for a man or an indulgent hamper for a woman filled with pampering treats.”
A Piece of Art
“Many art galleries will take contributions towards a piece – so if you don’t want a painting, how about a piece of sculpture for your home?” says Liz.
“Think of the fun you’ll have browsing for a piece you like. Guests don’t mind clubbing together to buy you something really special you want, whereas they may not want to contribute towards a honeymoon or holiday.”
Get it in Writing
Other ideas that work well are personalised stationery – it’ll come in handy for writing the wedding thank-you letters for a start!
Ask for your new names and address at the top of the letterhead, and maybe get some notecards done at the same time. Letterpress has a selection of formal stationery that any bride and groom would be delighted to receive.
Another idea is to ask for a photo session with a photographer for a year after your wedding day.
On the day itself you’ll have masses of photographs taken and you may have had an engagement shoot too – but having some shots for your first wedding anniversary is a lovely idea.